Taiwan shares close lower after plunge in U.S. market

Taipei, March 1 (CNA) Shares in Taiwan closed lower Thursday following a plunge on Wall Street overnight amid rising fears over an upward trend in interest rates in the U.S. market.

The Taiwan Stock Exchange's (TWSE) main index closed down 29.68 points, or 0.27 percent, at 10,785.79, after moving between 10,709.69 and 10,805.55, on turnover of NT$128.56 billion (US$4.39 billion).

The market opened down 36.37 points at 10,779.1 and moved to the day's low and below the quarterly moving average of 10,745, with selling sparked by a sharp fall on Wall Street over the past two days in reflection of rate hike fears.

However, the local main board recouped some of its earlier losses as bargain hunters became active from the late morning session, buying raw material stocks in the paper and pulp, steelmaking, and shipping and transportation sectors.

Among the gainers, the shipping and transportation sector ended 0.64 percent higher, while optoelectronics shares rose 2.15 percent, bolstered by a 5.55 percent gain in shares Largan Precision Co., a smartphone camera lens supplier to Apple Inc., which ended at NT$3,900.00.

Electrical appliance shares surged 3.18 percent, while paper and pulp issues gained 1.55 percent, and the foodstuff and construction sectors rose 0.41 percent and 0.15 percent, respectively.

Gainers outnumbered losers 429 to 369, with 114 stocks unchanged.

Foreign institutional investors sold a net NT$2.88 billion-worth of shares on the main board, according to the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

Kevin Lin (???), vice president of the investment consultancy firm Caizischool Co., said that despite fears of possible volatility in the U.S. market after recent heavy losses, the local main board recouped some of its earlier losses Thursday as bargain hunters bought stocks that had been hastily dumped before the Lunar New Year holiday.

Lin said that although he remains upbeat about the local market, the main index is expected to fluctuate a lot this month and is unlikely to breach the 10,900-point mark following heavy losses in the U.S. market.

However, the main index might hover around the six-month moving average of 10,692 points, Lin added.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel